It can be hard finding out what your destined career path is, especially as a twenty-something college student with no direction. Perhaps you feel like the path you’re on just doesn’t feel right, and yet, you don’t know where to go from here. The truth is, I don’t know if I have even ‘figured it out’ yet as I still have a lot of learning and exploring to do. But, what I can say is that I am content with where I am as of this present moment – who knows what the future holds.
Just know that it’s okay to not know what your dream job is.
I don’t think most people know. A lot of us are simply going through the motions, until we find something that “clicks,” and even then, our minds change. As evolving beings, I don’t think we are meant to find “the right one” and stick with it the rest of our lives. Our priorities and ideals are constantly shifting as we mature. So, don’t feel discouraged if you’ve changed your career a million times or you are still stuck not knowing what to do. It’s completely normal.
Unfortunately there is no one formula to determine how to find the perfect career, but there are ways to help you get closer and closer to that goal. I’ve listed a few tips below to get you started.
- 12 professional habits to develop in your 20’s
- 20 essential pieces of career advice every millennial needs to hear
9 Ways To Find Your Dream Career
List your strengths
Dig deep inside and ask yourself what your strengths are, then write them down on a piece of paper. It will help to look at your past to see what jobs you excelled in and what you enjoyed doing the most.
The strengths I discovered are that I have good listening skills, I am great at writing and I am able to learn things very quickly. This is how I discovered that journalism is a good fit for me and why I’m going to college for it. I truly enjoy listening to people, learning from them and sharing their story. By evaluating your strengths, you are lining out characteristics that you want in a future career and you are establishing what your ideal career looks like.
Determine your values and purpose
Taking your values into account when choosing a career can help you determine whether it is the right one for you. Your values are like a map that guide you throughout life and help put you on the right path. What you value is what you focus on and move towards so it is important to get those straight as early on as possible.
Along with establishing your values, it’s also important to find the purpose in doing the work you do. This centers around what makes you motivated to get up and work every day. By understanding your purpose, you are getting to the heart of what you want to accomplish in life and how you are going to get there.
Try new things (Get OUT of your comfort zone!)
This is the most important tip I have, yet it’s the hardest to follow.
It’s true that you will never know your true strengths until you’ve been tested. There are so many reasons as to why you should be breaking out of your comfort zone as often as possible, but I won’t bore you with a long list. Here are 3 main reasons:
- It teaches you things about yourself you never knew before
- You become open to more opportunities than you thought possible
- You overcome your fears
It’s important to try new things and explore a little because if you don’t then you are never going to know what you truly love to do and what you are skilled at. I honestly thought I was going to be a doctor, but it wasn’t until I worked for my college newspaper that I found a passion for journalism! There was no way I would’ve discovered that if I didn’t get out of my comfort zone, take a leap of faith and trust the process. Now, I am applying the skills I learned as a journalist to connect with people and grow my blog business.
Settle for more
A few months ago I picked up a book at my local bookstore titled “Settle for More” by Megyn Kelly. No matter what end of the political spectrum you’re on, this book has valuable life lessons for any person, and it came at just the right time in my life.
Megyn talks about how she used to be a lawyer who had it all, yet she wasn’t happy. One of the most profound things that changed her life, gave her the courage to step out of her comfort zone and follow her dreams of becoming a journalist was after she watched an episode of Dr. Phil one late night, and he said, “The only difference between you and someone you envy is, you settled for less.”
Something clicked for me too when I read that. It made me realize that instead of wasting energy looking at people I admire and wishing I was like them, I needed to take risks, get out of my comfort zone, put myself out there and change my life overall.
My advice to you is that if you’re unhappy in your career, don’t settle for less just because it may seem like the easy or safe way to go because you deserve so much more. Only you can change your life, so get out of your comfort bubble, take a few risks and be the star of your own life. The opportunities out there are endless.
Visualize your ideal work environment + career goals
Visualizing your ideal work environment will keep you on track when developing a career plan and will help you have an overall goal in mind. If you don’t have a vision than you won’t have a direction or any goals to work towards. A lot of times people just drift into the career they are in without taking a step back and determining what their ideal workday would look like. By doing so, you’re establishing ahead of time exactly what you want to do and where you want to be so you can begin working towards making that a reality.
“The only difference between you and someone you envy is, you settled for less.”
— Dr. Phil